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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the Buzz Book, the board book, the Step into reading book, the pop-up book or the Jigsaw book.
"I want to fish!"
"Engines don't go fishing!"
"Silly stick-in-the-muds!
— Thomas and James

Thomas Goes Fishing is the twelfth episode of the first season. It aired in the Shining Time Station episodes Faith, Hope and Anxiety in 1989 and Is Anybody There? in 1991.


Along his branch line, Thomas often looks forward to the sight of the river, and the people that fish there. He often wants to stay and watch, but his driver decides against it, worrying what would happen if they fell behind schedule by stopping to fish. Whenever he meets another engine, he shares with them his desire to fish, but they all tell him that "engines don't go fishing". However, he unknowingly gets the chance when the water column at the junction breaks down. Thomas is cross, but his crew decide to get water from the river.

The crew find a bucket and rope and hurry to the bridge. There, they lower the bucket down to the river, but unfortunately the bucket has five holes, and water leaks out fast. This means that they have to hurry before the water drains out. The crew repeat this several times before at last Thomas' thirst is quenched. 

Before long, Thomas develops a pain in his boiler. Steam rushes from his safety valve, and Thomas is alarmed that he may burst. The crew dampen the fire and struggle on to Ffarquhar. Annie and Clarabel are uncoupled and Thomas, still aching, is stopped in a siding as the guard phones an inspector and the Fat Controller. Workmen put signs saying "DANGER KEEP AWAY" all around Thomas. The inspector and the Fat Controller arrive, who consul Thomas of the situation. The driver explains what had happened, and the inspector concludes that the feed pipe is blocked.

The inspector looks inside Thomas' tank, he climbs down and asks the Fat Controller take a look in the tank as well. What the Fat Controller sees shocks him, and both agree that it was fish. They deduce that fish were collected in the bucket along with the water. Thomas' crew fish them out with instructions from the Fat Controller and afterwards have a meal of fish and chips. The Fat Controller asks if Thomas has learned his lesson, to which Thomas replies that he now understands why engines don't go fishing: it is "too uncomfortable."





  • In one scene, Annie and Clarabel are facing the wrong way.
  • The river water is brown when it is lifted in the bucket, but when it is poured into Thomas' tank it is clear.
  • Thomas' driver was said to have hung "DANGER" signs on Thomas' front and back, but they are propped a few metres in front of and beside him.
  • Thick pencil marks are visible on the "DANGER KEEP AWAY" signs.
  • In the American narration by George Carlin and in international versions, listen carefully after the Fat Controller says "Mmmm..." Ringo Starr can be faintly heard saying "Mmmm..." in the background.
  • When the men are first seen with the "DANGER" signs, the red lining around Thomas' number is torn.
  • Thomas is wearing Percy's tired face in two scenes.
  • In the restored version, studio equipment can be seen when Thomas says: "Bother! I'm thirsty!" and when the Inspector looks inside Thomas' tank.
  • When the inspector clambers up to check Thomas' tanks, Thomas abruptly stops hissing steam. But when the inspector comes down, he is hissing steam again and once the Fat Controller climbs up, the steam vanishes. Then again, when the Fat Controller asks Thomas' driver how the fish got there, the steam reappears. And throughout all of this, the hissing sound continues even when Thomas is not letting off steam.
  • When Thomas is at Elsbridge, the siding usually seen at the water column is not there except in the close-up of the out of order sign. When it is seen, it ends in the grass.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
German Thomas geht angeln Thomas Goes Fishing
Norwegian Thomas på fisketur Thomas On Fishing Trip
Welsh Tomos yn Pysgota Thomas Fishing
Japanese トーマスとさかなつり Thomas and Fishing
Italian I trenini non vanno a pescare! Engines don't go Fishing!
Finnish Tuomas Veturi Kalassa Thomas the Tank Engine is Fishing.
Hebrew תומס הולך לדוג Thomas Goes Fishing
Croatian Tomica ide u ribolov Thomas Goes Fishing
French Thomas va à la pêche Thomas Goes Fishing
Dutch Thomas gaat Vissen Thomas Goes Fishing
Danish Thomas på en fisketur Thomas on a Fishing Trip
Chinese 托马斯去钓鱼 Thomas Went Fishing
Korean 물고기 소동 Fish and Bustle
Slovenian Tomaž gre na ribolov Thomas Goes Fishing
Hungarian Thomas Halászni Megy Thomas Goes Fishing
Czech Tomáš na rybách Thomas on Fish
Swedish Thomas på fisketur Thomas on Fishing Trip
Romanian Thomas Merge la Pescuit Thomas Goes Fishing
Spanish Thomas va de pesca Thomas Goes Fishing
Slovak Thomas ide na rybačku Thomas Goes for Fish
Polish Tomek Jedzie na Ryby Thomas Goes to Fish
Russian Паровозы не ловят рыбу Locomotives No Fish
Serbian Tomas na pecanju Thomas Fishing
Brazilian Portuguese Thomas vai pescar Thomas Goes Fishing
Thai โธมัสอยากตกปลา Thomas Wants Fishing

Home Media Releases




DVD Packs





DVD Boxsets




  • Thomas the Tank Engine 2 (Scandinavian VHS/DVD)








DVD Packs








Video Games


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